For the first three chapters in his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul shared all the amazing benefits that God has, in His grace, showered on those that love Him – as the apostle opens to our understanding our position and privileges in Christ, and the inheritance that God has secured for all His blood-bought children. Now in chapter 4 he discusses both the unity of believers and the new hope which Christians have in Jesus.
Paul encourages believers to live lives which honor God’s gift of grace. “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph 4:1-3)
As I looked at this passage today, I was struck at how concise this message truly is. Paul is encouraging believers to live lives honoring “our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). Paul consistently encouraged believers to walk worthy of our Lord: “as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess 2:11-12).
Paul doesn’t leave us wondering HOW “to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Eph 4:1), but gives us the model in the next verse: “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love” (Eph 4:2). We must be humble and bear with one another.
The message is repeated in another epistle: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Col 3:12-13)
And Paul doesn’t leave us wondering WHY he calls us “to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love”. He spells it out in the third verse: “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3). Christ is our peace, He made peace, preached peace, gives unity in peace, and offers a gospel of peace. Peace is fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22) and important for every believer (Rom 5:1).
Because of all that Christ has done for us sinful creatures, we are encouraged to walk worthy, which is only accomplished when we set aside our prideful selves, bear with one another in love in order to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace with our fellow brethren. Paul calls us all to be like-minded.. having unity in the spirit and the love of Christ in our hearts – being of one accord; encouraging the saints and demonstrating tender-compassion in humility of heart, towards one another.
Mercy, truth and unity only comes when we have the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship in the Spirit flowing through our inner beings – for it is only as we are yielded to the Holy Ghost, that He is enabled to conform us, into the likeness of Christ. James described what can occur when we abide by God’s wisdom: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17-18)
Heavenly Father thank You for the wealth of spiritual blessings that have You have lavished on me, by grace through faith. Lord I desire to live godly in Christ Jesus and to walk in humble dependence and humility of heart, before you all the days of my life. Help me to put off the old-self and to live as You desire – in humble dependence upon You. I pray that I may show forth the grace of Christ, the love of the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit – in thought, word and deed, towards all who are the called according to Your purpose, so that in unity of Spirit we may honor Your name, through our earthly witness. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.